Flat towing is a very popular way for larger RVs to bring a runabout vehicle with them.
This way Class A and large Class C motorhomes will have a car or SUV to drive around and explore their surroundings without having to break camp or trying to drive around tight roads with a large motorhome.
Though it’s worth noting that not all vehicles can be safely flat towed behind a motorhome or other type of RV.
Jeep offers several models that can be safely flat-towed. Though this isn’t true of their entire lineup.
Some of the most popular Jeep makes and models for flat-towing include the Jeep Wrangler, some trim levels of the Gladiator, all 4×4 models of the Jeep Patriot as well as the Jeep Liberty, Even the popular Jeep Cherokee has a few models that can be flat-towed safely behind an RV.
If you are shopping for just the right make and model of Jeep to tow behind your RV, you’ll need to get to know the landscape of this popular lineup of SUV.
We’ve done our best to sort through this sometimes confusing field to help you find the best Jeep to meet your flat-towing needs.
Which Jeep Models Cannot Be Flat Towed?
It’s worth noting that not all makes and models in the Jeep Lineup can be safely flat towed.
The Jeep Compass and the Jeep Renegade are two models that aren’t considered safe for flat towing behind an RV.
This is due to specific drive train features such as front-wheel drive, full or part-time four-wheel-drive systems as well as electronic transmissions that don’t take well to the dynamic mechanical processes behind flat towing.
Particularly when it comes to maintaining the proper lubrication characteristics in the transmission of these models.
How Does Transmission Lubrication Affect Flat Towing?
Transmission lubrication is a critical factor that influences the make and model of vehicles that can be safely flat towed behind an RV.
Some vehicles have a lubrication pump inside the transmission case that needs to move continuously to make sure all the moving parts are properly lubricated.
This often requires the vehicle’s engine to be running, which isn’t conducive to flat-towing.
If a vehicle with this type of lubrication pump is flat towed for more than a very short distance the spinning wheels turn the driveshaft which can damagethe transmission and engine parts, without proper lubrication.
What Are The Best Jeep Models For Flat Towing Behind An RV?
They tend to have features that let you do things like disengage the drive train when towed or the engineering to maintain a sufficient level of lubrication, even when the engine is turned off.
Most of these SUVs are popular daily driver vehicles used by families and commuters.
If you have a large motorhome or you are thinking about towing an SUV behind your RV following are some of the best Jeep models that can be flat towed behind a motorhome or other type of RV.
1: The Jeep Wrangler
Jeep Wrangler is arguably one of the most popular Jeep models for flat towing behind an RV.
The JL and JK trim levels of the Jeep Wrangler take particularly well to flat towing. They offer 4 X 4 capability for tackling tough terrain and backroad conditions.
They also tend to have enough interior room to accommodate a family of four comfortably, with enough room in the back to hold hiking gear or a loyal family dog.
If there’s a common complaint about the Jeep Wrangler it’s that the suspension can sometimes be a little rough when you drive it at highway speeds.
It also has a reputation for road noise. It won’t affect the way it flat tows, but it’s not an ideal commuter car for driving down the highway for hours on end.
The different trim levels of the Jeep Wrangler can vary the weight from as low as 3,100 to 5,100-pounds.
The low end of this range is within what a lot of Class C motorhomes with a towing package can handle within their 5,000-pound towing capacity.
Though some of the heavier trim levels of the Jeep Wrangler can push the upper limits of what is considered safe for an RV to flat tow.
If the gross vehicle weight rating of the Jeep Wrangler in question comes within 80% of the motorhome’s maximum towing capacity, you might want to consider another option.
2: The Jeep Gladiator
Each trim level of the current Jeep Gladiator can be flat towed behind an RV or motorhome. Though there are some minor factory warranty concerns.
You need to specifically follow the flat towing instructions in the owner’s manual to the letter.
This might include having a special flat towing package professionally installed into the front frame.
If the Gladiator is damaged by incorrect flat towing techniques it can void the warranty and leave you with a major repair bill.
Please be sure to consult the owner’s manual for your Jeep Gladiator to ensure that you are flat towing it properly and with the appropriate equipment as to not void your warranty.
The Jeep Gladiator is a Jeep in the frame and style of a light-duty pickup truck. It’s great for hauling gear once you get to where you are going.
Though you don’t want to necessarily haul that gear when you are flat towing it behind your RV.
It’s important to note that the Jeep Gladiator weighs between 4,600 to 5,100-pounds, which puts it at the top end or beyond the upper limit of a lot of Class C motorhomes and even some Class A motorhomes.
Before you pull the trigger on a Jeep Gladiator, make sure you compare its gross vehicle weight rating against the maximum towing capacity of your motorhome.
If it’s within 80% of the RV’s maximum towing capacity, you might want to look elsewhere.
3: The Jeep Patriot
The 4-wheel drive trim levels of the Jeep Patriot can also be safely flat-towed behind a motorhome or RV.
Just like the Gladiator, you need to make sure you are following all of the flat-towing specifications in the owner’s manual. Failure to do so could void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Fuel efficiency is one of the most appealing things about the 4 X 4 trim levels of the Jeep Patriot.
It’s a great commuter vehicle that gets around 23 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.
It also only weighs around 3,100 to 3,400-pounds, and a lot of motorhomes with a tow package have a towing capacity of up to 5,000-pounds.
This makes the Jeep Patriot a great option for a daily driver commuter car that can be towed behind a lot of Class C Motorhomes.
4: The Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of Jeep’s most popular and powerful models. Though there are a few trim levels of the Jeep Grand Cherokee that can be safely flat-towed behind a motorhome.
Though this is limited to trim levels that have Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II.
Here again, you need to double-check the specifications for flat towing in the owner’s manual to keep from voiding the manufacturer’s warranty.
Another concern with flat towing the Jeep Grand Cherokee is that the gross vehicle weight rating can range from 4.500 to 5,400-pounds.
This pushes the upper limits of what most Class C and some Class A motorhomes can safely flat tow behind them.
Ultimately only a few models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee can be safely towed behind large Class A motorhomes with a robust towing package.
5: The Jeep Liberty
It’s important to note that 2WD models should only be flat towed with four wheels on the ground if the driveshaft is removed.
If you want to flat-tow a 4WD model of the Jeep Liberty, the transfer case must be shifted into Neutral (N), and the transmission must be placed in Park.
The Jeep Liberty is a popular Jeep model for families who need to bring important gear or family pets with them.
There is plenty of room in the back seat for two children with copious storage in the rear via a large hatch.
The Jeep Liberty gets around 16 miles to the gallon in the city and around 22 miles per gallon on the highway.
It’s also important to note that the Jeep Liberty weighs between 4,076 to 4,290-pounds.
This is just within the safe range of what can be safely towed by a Class C or Class A motorhome with a 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity.
Tips For Flat Towing Your Jeep Behind An RV
There are a few mechanical details and preparation steps that you need to be mindful of to safely flat tow a Jeep behind an RV.
The following tips will help reduce your risk of running into a serious problem on the road.
1: Take Care Of Proper Maintenance
Take the time to properly maintain both the RV or motorhome you are towing with as well as your Jeep are up on their maintenance.
This includes things like fresh oil changes and transmission fluid, as well as making sure that your coolant is topped off on both vehicles.
You should also double-check all the electrical components and the braking assist system as well as the alignment of the Jeep.
Then right before you set off, double-check all the tires to make sure they are properly inflated to the recommended PSI.
2: Install A Heavy Duty Tow Bar On The Jeep
The tow bar plays a critical role in connecting the rear hitch of the RV to the flat-towed Jeep.
It is responsible for transferring the structural force and plays a serious role in making sure the Jeep tracks smoothly behind the RV.
So, this is not the place to skimp on the budget. It’s also a good idea to have it professionally installed.
Certified mechanics can make recommendations on the best tow bar set up and install it according to specs.
3: Install A Braking Assist System
Most quality tow bars that are suitable for flat towing a Jeep are compatible with the wiring harness and other components needed to accommodate a braking assist system.
When professionally installed it coordinates the brakes on the flat towed Jeep with the brakes on the RV.
Anytime you step on the brake pedal of your motorhome it applies the brakes on the Jeep.
This will go a long way toward reducing the stresses on the tow bar, the hitch, and both vehicles.
It also helps reduce the minimum braking distance of the entire rig, which can be a major safety benefit when traveling at highway speeds in traffic.
4: Use High Visibility Towing Lights
The wiring harness used with most tow bars includes connections to coordinate the braking and indicator lights of the RV with the flat-towed Jeep.
Though some drivers struggle to notice the standard lights on the Jeep.
Installing portable trailer lights that magnetically attach to the flat-towed Jeep will make them easier to see and reduce the risk of a serious rear-end collision.
Alternatives to Flat Towing
If you have a Jeep model or other vehicle that can’t be safely flat towed behind an RV, but you still want to be able to take a runabout vehicle with you on your next RV adventure, there are a few options to consider.
A Car Dolly
This is a special type of small trailer that you connect to the rear hitch of your RV. It is meant to be used for front-wheel-drive vehicles, where the rear wheels are not connected to the vehicle’s drivetrain in any way.
The wiring harness is connected and coordinates the indicator lights between the towed vehicle and the RV.
A Flatbed Trailer
Flatbed trailers can be connected to the rear hitch of the RV. Then special ramps at the back of the trailer let you drive the runabout vehicle up onto the flatbed, where it can be secured by chains and straps.
One potential drawback of towing a vehicle on a flatbed trailer is that the weight of the trailer itself counts against the towing capacity of the motorhome.
If the trailer has a gross vehicle weight rating of 1,500-pounds and the vehicle weighs 4,000-pounds it would be a combined 5,500 GVWR.
This would exceed the towing capacity of an average Class C motorhome with a maximum towing capacity of 5,000-pounds.
Are Jeeps Good Off-Road Vehicles?
Jeep has an award-winning lineup of vehicles, many have four-wheel drive, which makes them a good option for flat-towing behind an RV while serving as a capable runabout vehicle for times when you might be roughing it.
Also, Jeeps tend to be popular commuter vehicles, which means you can use them comfortably as your daily driver and vacation runabout.
Does Flat-Towing Cause Excess Wear & Tear?
Anytime you flat tow something both the RV and the vehicle being towed will experience a little wear and tear.
Though with new and properly maintained rigs, this is a minor issue that does little more than add to tire wear of the flat-towed vehicle.
It’s when one or both vehicles are poorly maintained or incorrectly connected that excess wear and tear can occur on the structural frame or other components.
What Are Some Other Good Vehicles For Flat Towing Behind An RV?
If you aren’t a fan of the Jeep lineup of vehicles but you still want to flat-tow a vehicle behind your RV there are a few other makes and models to consider.
This includes the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the Ram 1500, and the Chevrolet Spark.
Jeep offers several great models that can easily be towed behind an RV. Just make sure you are closely following the manufacturer’s instructions for how to safely flat-tow that model.
Failure to do so could damage the Jeep’s transmission or drive train, while also voiding the warranty coverage.
If you are looking for a lightweight option that can be comfortably towed behind a Class C motorhome with a maximum towing capacity of 5,000-pounds the Jeep Patriot might be the best option for flat-towing behind your RV.
If you have a larger Class A motorhome with a robust towing capacity of more than 5,000-pounds, then the Jeep Grand Cherokee or the Jeep Wrangler might be the best options for flat-towing behind your RV.